RE: Information gathering.....

Subject: RE: Information gathering.....
From: "Al Geist" <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L''" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2008 07:32:59 -0400

Yes I do video; however, the boss's goal is to reduce manual development
time by 50%. I suggested scripting and having the technical writer standing
behind the videographer (or being the videographer) and the suggestion fell
on deaf ears because he doesn't see where scripts are needed, and having the
TW shot the videos means they aren't writing. As for professional videos, it
would be engineers using a home video camera taking notes as they build one
of the systems (standalone or cluster system). These are very complex and
expensive products that take many years to move from concept to customer.
Prior to my arrival, the company would pump out service manuals for systems
in a couple of weeks....and those manuals sucked. My boss wants the level of
manuals my team produces developed in the old time frame. It is also a
Word-based organization and there are no other options. (We've proposed
everything from Frame to InDesign and every one has been shot down.)

I've basically tried Gene's suggestions and some of Geoff's without success.
The response I got from my boss was "reduce by half or loose your jobs." I
felt really motivated after our last talk......

I have my resume pencil sharp and my eyes open.

Al Geist
Technical Communicator, Help, Web Design, Video, Photography
Office/Msg: 802-872-9190
Cell: 802-578-3964
See Also:
Fine Art Photography

"...I walked to work, quit my job, and kept walking. Better to be a pilgrim
without a destination, I figured, than to cross the wrong threshold each
day." (Sy Safransky)

Kathleen MacDowell wrote:

Some very good suggestions. In line with Keith's ideas about scripting
etc., don't you do video too, Al? Perhaps you could mention that
information to one of your bosses so that you could help obtain the
information you need. Aren't you also the one that mentioned at one
time that professionally done video or operators are very expensive,
for good reason (another point?).

I don't have experience in the tool, so can't add anything to what
you've already seen. "Glass Half-full wise," perhaps something useful
and interesting will be offered. Is it possible that one of the
author-it people, or Char, or ... might have some ideas?


ComponentOne Doc-To-Help gives you everything you need to author and
publish quality Help, Web, and print content. Perfect for technical
authors, developers, and policy writers. Download a FREE trial.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Information gathering.....: From: Al Geist
Re: Information gathering.....: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Information gathering.....: From: Kathleen MacDowell

Previous by Author: RE: Information gathering.....
Next by Author: RE: Information gathering.....
Previous by Thread: Re: Information gathering.....
Next by Thread: Information gathering.....? (take II)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads